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This can lead to confusing spaceship ethics with the life boat idea.
On the Spaceship Earth, nations can be divided into two categories rich nations – the most powerful- and poor nations. Two thirds of the Earth’s population lives in poor nations, only a third lives in rich nations. The United States is the wealthiest nation on Earth. Everyone sees the rich nations as lifeboats. The rich one third represents the lifeboats; and the two thirds are trying to get to one of these lifeboats. In order to get in any lifeboat we first have to realize its capacity. The lifeboat has a capacity, which limits how many people can get into it. In addition, we cannot exceed the capacity; if we exceed capacity then we will lose our safety factor and everyone therein will drown. The cruel ethics of the lifeboat becomes crueler, when we take into consideration the reproductive differences between the rich and poor nations. Rich nations are doubling every 87 years, while the poor nations double almost every 35 years. Hardin gives an example that shows the population of the United States equal to another population made of seven poor countries. Suppose that the U.S currently agrees to share its recourses with them. At first the ratio would be one-to-one, but in the future the poor countries’ populations are going to double faster than the United States’ population, then each American would have to share what he/she has with more than eight people. Consequently, a nation’s needs are determined by their population size.
Another important point Hardin argues about in his article is the tragedy of commons. When properties become public, everyone would have the right to use it. Thereafter, everyone would suffer because of overloading the commons. Otherwise, everyone would say his/her needs are greater. Overloading of the commons results into destruction of the facilities and
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Garrett Hardin’s article “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” presents solid argument against helping the poor. In author’s view, generosity towards the underprivileged nations is an ethical misconception. The arguments Hardin provides can be grouped in three categories: metaphors, utilitarian, and relativist arguments.
Governance and International Relations – Lifeboat Ethics
It is a fact that the world over the role of lifeboat ethics is a significant one. This can easily be seen within the developing as well as the developed nations where the divide is getting bigger with each passing day.
Hardin says that metaphors help to describe issues and problems with more ambiguity and thereby provide people with opportunities to resolve the problem by creating new ones and the cycle goes on. In short, problems and solutions are unending cycles and each issue needs to be solved with lifeboat ethics.
Hardin puts forward the concept of 'the tragedy of the commons' in the context of the system of private property. According to him, people who own property are aware of their responsibility to watch over it, because if they fail in this, they will ultimately suffer.
ublished in 1974 also focuses on this aspect, taking a stance that providing for the poor countries will eventually ‘drain’ and ‘drown’ the providers or rich countries. Hardin discusses this perspective of his by using a metaphor of lifeboat for rich nations. That is,
On the other hand are those who state otherwise and believe that increase in population is not the reason for decrease in resources. This writing will focus one the impact that environment has experienced due to
He states that it is not the responsibility of the wealthy nations to help and assist the poor nations. To explain why wealthy nations should not assist the poor nations he uses the example of a life boat and compares it to a wealthy
n, they can use this money to invest on every aspect, which they are lacking of, which could offer them more talents to build and develop the country. Conversely, Garrett Hardin, an American ecologist who warned of the dangers of overpopulation, told a story of "Chinese